Government officials on Wednesday were reminded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to continue obeying health measures or penalties will be imposed.
“Government officials must really take the lead and must lead by example,” said DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya during a virtual briefing with the Department of Health.
When asked if the agency was planning on creating new guidelines if ever government officials flout health protocols, he said that it won’t happen because violations will be handled under local ordinances.
The question came following Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s visit to Bantayan Island, Cebu, wherein health protocols were obviously violated.
“If a government official is invited to an event and he cannot assure that minimum health standards be implemented during that event, it would be best if the government official will just decline to attend,” he said.
Officials will basically be setting a bad example for the public when they themselves can’t follow protocols.
”If however even government officials cannot comply how can we expect the general public to comply?” he asked.
“The Secretary Eduardo Año has already directed the Philippine National Police to investigate certain individuals who allegedly were found to have been in an event found violating health protocols,” he added without mentioning names.
He also said that officials who are violators will be under the DILG jurisdiction and will be filing recommendations for the Office of the Ombudsman or the Office of President.
The recommendation will then be received by the head of a government branch if the violator is not with the DILG.
Those who are guilty will incur penalties under the local ordinance and can transition to filing of charges.
“We will consider this on a case-to-case basis,” Malaya said.
Netizens think that the DILG was shading Roque, along with many other government officials who violated health protocols such as PNP Chief Debold Sinas.